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Authentic Expressions

By: Aniko Hill
Posted: June 9, 2008, from the June 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 6 of 6

4. Mix n’ match agencies.

Although it may seem more economical to hire different agencies or specialists for different pieces of a brand campaign, it can actually end up being more costly. There is always a learning curve when taking on a new creative project of any kind, and each company will, and should, charge you for the time it takes to immerse itself in your project. Not to mention, results of working with too many agencies are often inconsistent. Different creative firms will often have their own unique spin or vision for a brand—even if working from a pre-determined strategy and brand guideline. Since there are often no black-and-white or right-or-wrong solutions in brand execution, this can lead to a lot of gray areas for a company to sort out—which translates to more dollars that need to be spent to fix the problem.

5. Creating a brand and then not touching it again.

Like any other living thing, brands must be fed in order to grow. Although the most effective branding campaigns are built around a “big idea,” the meaning of the brand must be clearly explained, communicated and nurtured. Meaning can become amplified over time as the company and culture grow stronger, and meaning can be redefined by customer perceptions based on point of view and experience. It is critical to audit your brand and your market and adjust strategy accordingly—both in product development and marketing.